Judas Iscariot, Whistleblower

 

The crisis in government is not the ongoing impeachment farce. The crisis is that the very concept of a higher moral principle has been replaced by a sensibility in which the choice of policies, politics, and actions are governed by a perception about which will make one appear enlightened and clever rather than moral. It is not as if there is a coherent policy structure behind the ferocity of the hatred of Trump. It is about that sensibility.

I would argue that the famous British traitors Philby, McClean, Burgess, et al., were less enthralled by Marxist dogma than by the idea of the destruction of a political order they were ‘enlightened’ enough to despise. The exhilaration of their own cleverness was reward enough. Narcissists make for the best traitors. Just ask Benedict Arnold. Or Judas Iscariot who apparently realized rather late in the game that the project Jesus had in mind was not going to be a big résumé boost for someone who expected a lucrative policy role in a new regime.

Loyalty to public service at higher career echelons has been corroded by a cult of expertise which has become more aggressive in demanding deference even as its value to the public declines because the expert answer to every issue is always more money and power for those who clearly don’t have viable solutions.

Under Obama, weakly conceived, even counterproductive policies (e.g., the entire Obama foreign policy) were governed less by ideology and more by issues of sensibility beginning with a reverence for credentialed ‘expertise,’ followed by deference to a vague notion of enlightened cultural diversity by suppressing or denigrating one’s own cultural heritage and all done in language and stylings that would meet with approval in Brussels or at the Kennedy School at Harvard. The fact that a particular policy did not work was reality’s fault. That fact that a policy may have been contrary to American interests and culture was a feature, not a bug.

The notion of public service has also declined precipitously in the news media. Professionalism has been destroyed by an overwhelming appetite to promote opinions, to demonstrate personal enlightenment. However, the more extensively journalists openly reject detached adherence to fact and balance, the less inclined are their viewers and readers are to want or need the content being offered. The more ferociously enlightened opinion is pushed, the smaller and more resistant the target audience becomes until “major” news media drifts into pathetic islands of narcissism—like CNN.

The important story this week was not that Don Lemon and his guests laughed so uproariously at a silly caricature of Trump voters but that they clearly need to believe that’s who those voters are. That is both revealing and sad. People wonder why CNN keeps Fredo Cuomo on the air but the hard truth is that only someone who really does not know how much he is missing could speak with such sincerity and confidence when delivering hogwash. Jim Lehrer or David Brinkley could never do that.

The Darwinian irony is that the desire to turn the news into a font of enlightened opinion inexorably leads to groupthink and rigid dogma which, in turn, selects for those too dumb or too intellectually insecure to question, explore, or test the dogma. In short, it leads to Don Lemon, Fredo, and a horde of half-educated 26-year-olds writing copy — and no audience.

A hell of a lot of people who owe us a duty of loyalty to an honest pursuit of truth, humility, competence, and service have been failing to deliver that. We were not supposed to notice and instead just continue to defer to titles and positions, even surrender our political judgments. But we did notice, got angry and Trump got elected; the betrayers have doubled down on their disloyalty in response. This cannot end well. Ask Judas.

There are 14 comments.

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  1. Slow on the uptake Thatcher
    Slow on the uptake
    @Chuckles

    You do a disservice to half-educated 26-year olds.

    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Great post.

    • #2
  3. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Great post.

    Amen.

    @oldbathos, you just cranking out great reflections on the current state of things. Thank you!

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Reality and humility are both so inconvenient when you are trying to achieve perfection. Darn it.

    Great post, Old Bathos!

    • #4
  5. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    –pathetic islands of narcissism–

    Good one!

    • #5
  6. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    OldB,

    Judas is kind of a new testament phenomenon and I’m an old testament kind of guy. What I’ve recently noticed is that Balaam, the old testament prophet for hire who was hired to curse the Jews, apparently had an assistant. His name was Bolton. Balaam completely failed at his task and ended up dead. Although much less well known, much the same thing happened to Bolton.

    It is important to read your Bible.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
  7. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    OldB,

    Judas is kind of a new testament phenomenon and I’m an old testament kind of guy. What I’ve recently noticed is that Balam, the old testament prophet for hire who was hired to curse the Jews, apparently had an assistant. His name was Bolton. Balam completely failed at his task and ended up dead. Although much less well known, much the same thing happened to Bolton.

    It is important to read your Bible.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Judas was likely merely protesting the lack of diversity among the disciples but got caught up in the agenda of the patriarchal religious authorities, in other words, a victim.  I think we should take bets on which (former) Christian denomination will make him a saint or name a facility for him.  (If you bet on the C of E, because that is such an obvious pick that your play will have to be an exacta to include the second outfit to do so in order to get the bet booked.)

    Liz Warren would lead chants of “Give us Barrabas” on Good Friday if she thought it would boost her chances.  You don’t have to be St. John alone in his room on Patmos to envision bad stuff on the way .

     

    • #7
  8. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Liz Warren would lead chants of “Give us Barrabas” on Good Friday if she thought it would boost her chances. You don’t have to be St. John alone in his room on Patmos to envision bad stuff on the way .

    OldB,

    Wait a minute, I’ve got to wipe the coffee out of my nose. If you are familiar with “the sin of the spies” in the old testament, this is where the more dubious leaders of the Jews insist that they send spies to check out the promised land before they go for it. This would be like the Chamber of Commerce wanting to spy out France before the Normandy invasion. Moses doesn’t want to let them but he gives in. When they come back, of course, they report that the promised land is very nice but impossible to conquer. The Jews lose heart for the whole enterprise. Gd is furious and condemns the Jews to instead wander for 40 years in the desert.

    The sin of the spies clearly describes the Democratic Party. With patriots like the spies, you don’t need traitors.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Liz Warren would lead chants of “Give us Barrabas” on Good Friday if she thought it would boost her chances. You don’t have to be St. John alone in his room on Patmos to envision bad stuff on the way .

    OldB,

    Wait a minute, I’ve got to wipe the coffee out of my nose. If you are familiar with “the sin of the spies” in the old testament, this is where the more dubious leaders of the Jews insist that they send spies to check out the promised land before the go for it. This would be like the Chamber of Commerce wanting to spy out France before the Normandy invasion. Moses doesn’t want to let them but he gives in. When they come back, of course, they report that the promised land is very nice but impossible to conquer. The Jews lose heart for the whole enterprise. Gd is furious and condemns the Jews to instead wander for 40 years in the desert.

    The sin of the spies clearly describes the Democratic Party. With patriots like the spies, you don’t need traitors.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Not sure the selected passage is apt.  The Democratic spies see the wreckage of applied Marxism but think they see Nirvana.  They report back that it is doable and cost-effective to get there.  God sends Trump to oppress them and save us all from going there.

    • #9
  10. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    God sends Trump to oppress them and save us all from going there.

    OldB,

    A perfect Old Hollywood rewrite just in the nick of time too. I hate the desert.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
  11. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Old Bathos: The fact that a particular policy did not work was reality’s fault.

    Wow. This is one of several bits of that post that I would have tattooed on my body. Brilliant.

    • #11
  12. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Okay, tattooed on my body is a little exteme, but what a great line.

    I am not as smart as most of you, but I keep looking at this, the way we are are going, and wondering, is this inevitable? When we succeed beyond anyone in history’s wildest dreams, when we have conquered so much, provided so much to so many, arrived here at the pinnacle of human achievement that would leave all of human history in breathless awe, we are still doomed to be in thrall to basic narcissistic twaddle?

     

    • #12
  13. Blue State Blues Member
    Blue State Blues
    @BlueStateBlues

    Old Bathos:

    Under Obama, weakly conceived, even counterproductive policies (e.g., the entire Obama foreign policy) were governed less by ideology and more by issues of sensibility beginning with a reverence for credentialed ‘expertise,’ followed by deference to a vague notion of enlightened cultural diversity by suppressing or denigrating one’s own cultural heritage and all done in language and stylings that would meet with approval in Brussels or at the Kennedy School at Harvard. The fact that a particular policy did not work was reality’s fault. That fact that a policy may have been contrary to American interests and culture was a feature, not a bug.

    Exactly.  This explains the JCPOA, for example, at least in part.

     

    • #13
  14. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    When we succeed beyond anyone in history’s wildest dreams, when we have conquered so much, provided so much to so many, arrived here at the pinnacle of human achievement that would leave all of human history in breathless awe, we are still doomed to be in thrall to basic narcissistic twaddle?

    During the Carter Administration it seemed as if there were no solutions to energy shortages and economic stagnation. The Communist world seemed inexorably ascendant. History gives credit (however grudgingly) to Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II for a political, ideological and spiritual victory that saved and renewed the West. But it may have been more about ordinary Americans innovating, working, building and doing without waiting for guidance from (useless) elites and together simply leaving the commies in the dust.

    So it may be the same dynamic that will keep saving us.

    Even the lefty d-bags in Silicon Valley and Hollywood who fund the Democratic Party understand the importance of property and freedom to innovate which is why we may suffer bad policies but will never go full Bernie. The wellspring will not die.

    • #14

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